Monday, April 8, 2013

Greetings from the beach! I arrived safely in Panama City on Tuesday night after waiting 13 hours in the Guatemala Airport. Thats a whole other story. I met my trainer on wednesday morning. Her name is Hermana Cruz, she is from Mexico, and she is absolutely beautiful and kind! I could not have dreamed of a better first companion in the field! After spending some time in the migration center with Presidente Ward, Hna Cruz and I got on a bus and headed to our area-- Puerto Armuelles. It is the second farthest area we could´ve been sent, considering it took over 11 hours to get here. Our house is.... humble, to say the least. I think I have always taken running water, air conditioning, and pillows for granted. But we are happy in our little abode. Our area is pleasant because we spend most of our days knocking doors along the beach. No but really-- the backyards are sand. I am experiencing new foods, new smells, and new interactions. I am the only gringa within hundreds of miles, so we use that to our advantage. A few days ago Hermana Cruz told me to contact a family we saw sitting on their porch, and just invite them to church. Instead I said "hi we are missionaries and we have a message about Jesus Christ to share with you and your family. do you have time to listen?" and next thing we knew, we were sitting with them in their living room! After the lesson, Hermana Cruz laughed and thanked me for my bravery. Thats why we´re here... to courageously bring the restored gospel to the people of Puerto Armuelles. Turns out there hasn´t been a baptism here in a few years, yet the Lord has already worked miracles as we now have 3 dates for baptisms. I understand this is not a set in stone thing, but we are continually praying and visiting these great families in hopes that they will gain testimonies of Christ´s church and how it can help them. The other day I was a little discouraged with the language and culture shock, so I turned to the Book of Mormon for comfort. I opened to page 213 where Alma sets the example for what it means to be a disciple. he prays "O, Lord have mercy and spare my life, that I may be an instrument in thy hands to save and preserve this people." Amen and Amen. I truly know that the Book of Mormon contains the word of God, and in our greatest hour of need, we can turn to the Book of Mormon for comfort and relief.